WINNSBORO — Eloise Rabon Brunnemer entered the last chapter of her long and happy life, just a few weeks ago, quietly closing the final page of her storybook, Saturday evening, Feb. 9, 2013 around 5 p.m. Her age is, and still remains, as she would always say, “a military secret.” She was comfortable and cozy in the arms of her daughter, Mary Ann Hall, with her son-in-law, Bill Hall, close by. Bill, Mary Ann and Eloise were together at The Hilton Garden Inn, Norwalk, Conn. where they had taken Eloise during the snowstorm, just in case they lost power. Her family hoped that she would be present to greet her first great grandchild, but instead, she chose to send her spirit out to greet the new baby. This new baby, the first child of Westport native, Emily Rabon Hall and husband Nick Stevens arrived just after midnight on Feb. 13, 2013, an 8-pound boy, Thomas William Stevens.
Eloise grew up on her family farm just outside Ridgeway, in Fairfield County, the last of twelve children. She moved to Winnsboro to live near her sister, Emily Walker and her daughter Anne, and it was in Winnsboro that she met her husband, Curtis Mayhew Brunnemer. They settled into the community, raised their daughter Mary Ann and remained residents of Winnsboro until Curt Brunnemer’s death in 1972.
To give some idea of the awesome span of Eloise’s life, she traveled to church in a surrey with the fringe on top, to high school on horse back, to the 1938 World’s Fair by car with her late husband and later by train and plane to places around her beloved country and to many other destinations including a number of trips to Europe with friends in Connecticut. She is a college graduate, a businesswoman, an entrepreneur, a gardener, a seamstress, a baker… and through it all, her first responsibility and the loves of her life were her family and friends. She never missed a Sunday at church, she never skipped exercise, and she fasted once a week on carrot juice. In the words of her daughter, Mary Ann Brunnemer Hall, “She was wonderful, wise, winsome, high spirited, our hero and role model. We will love her and honor her forever.”
In 1994, Eloise Brunnemer moved from Fairfield County, South Carolina to Fairfield County, Connecticut joining her daughter and her family in Westport. She was a familiar face around town, sidekick and right hand woman to Mary Ann, Founder and Creative Director of Mary Ann Hall’s MUSIC FOR CHILDREN. She was immediately involved with her family, including granddaughter Emily Rabon Hall and grandson Daniel Brunnemer Hall. She also jumped right into helping with MUSIC FOR CHILDREN. She helped design the program’s Piano Books, made gifts and treats for the children in the school,- and most importantly sewed over 300 round cloths that are used to set the scenes for the musical themes of the classes.
Eloise was the last of her generation in both the Rabon and Brunnemer families. She is survived by her immediate family, Westport residents Mary Ann and Bill Hall; Daniel Hall (now living in Los Angeles); and Brooklyn residents Emily Hall, her husband Nick Stevens, their new baby boy, her great grandson, Thomas William Stevens; and 30 nieces, nephews, and their children.
A memorial service will be held at Gordon Memorial Methodist Church, 502 Fifth Street, Winnsboro at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013.
Donations may be made in memory of Eloise Brunnemer to the Gordon Memorial Methodist Church, 502 Fifth Street, Winnsboro, SC 29180.
Pope Funeral Home is serving the Brunnemer family.
Online condolences may be sent to the Brunnemer family at www.popefuneralhomesc.com.